Archive for April, 2009

One Bedroom Bonanza!

first-ave-living-room1I went out with a customer yesterday, looking for affordable one bedrooms in the East Village. We saw some really great stuff! I showed her units between $2000 and $2400.

This one bedroom on Second Ave has an unusually large living room, the bedroom fits a queen and has a big closet. Although the kitchen is not brand new it is clean, well laid-out and definitely usable. Seems like a good deal at $2100 (may be slightly negotiable) Continue reading ‘One Bedroom Bonanza!’


Time Out NY: “Lower Your Rent”

tony-coverThe cover story of this week’s Time Out NY is all about rents falling throughout the city. For the most part, the reportage was well-done and non-alarmist and there was some practical info on how to speak with your landlord about getting a reduction.

Read the article Here and Here and take a look at my coverage on the fall of the rental market and how to negotiate with your landlord.

“How to Reduce Your Rent”

“Further Tips on Negotiating With Your Landlord”

“Renegotiating the Rent?”

Will Tenants Join Landlords to Fight Property Taxes?

Via the NY Observer:  There are proposals afoot to change the NY State property tax laws.  Currently, the property tax burden is not equally shared among all residents of NYC and it is single family home owners that pay the least relative to the amount of space they occupy. Owners of multi-family buildings would like to make tenants aware of the percentage of their rent that goes toward property taxes, “maybe we ought to insist to our owners, when they send their rent bill to tenants, state, like ConEd does, only in much bolder print, that 20 percent of your rent is going to the City of New York in taxes” and see if they can possibly enlist tenants in the fight for a more equitable tax structure.  I do worry that media coverage of these issues is a tricky thing and I would urge you to do your own research about the reality of taxation in the city before drawing firm conclusions.

See this post for earlier coverage of the tax burdens of renters

Landlords Must Make Buildings Greener, Pay for it Themselves

earth-cashI saw this via a link on Brownstoner . The NY Post reports that a city initiative will have the owners greening large older buildings with environmentally-friendly and energy-saving capital improvements. Tenant advocates were concerned that the costs of these improvements would be passed on to rent controlled tenants. Instead, the mayor’s pointman for this initiative, Rogit Aggarwala, states that city leaders pledge to prevent costs being passed on because increased energy efficiency soon pays for itself.

New Exclusive: 2 Bed/2 Bath With Laundry in the Apartment

105_living-room-3This new listing just came in, right off of Astor Place where everyone wants to be! 1400 square feet of brand new renovations featuring a huge living room with showcase windows, open kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Two huge bedrooms that can fit king-sized beds, two full baths and your very own LAUNDRY ROOM in the apartment! Currently priced at $5000, I’m hosting open houses on both Saturday and Sunday from 12:00-2:00. My email is on the side-bar if you want to come by and see these unique units.

Rent Stabilized Tenants Can Expect Small Rent Increase

According to the NY Daily News, this year the Rent Stabilization Board (the body that sets the amount of rent increase that rent stabilized apartments can expect every year) has thrown tenants a bone. The increase will likely be modest because landlord’s reported a relatively small increase in operating expenses–the metric which is used to determine the percentage that rents can be raised. There was an outcry last year as rents were raised 4.5% on a one year lease and 8.5% on a two year lease. This is good news for non-stabilized tenants as well because many landlords follow these guidelines to avoid mass tenant exoduses. Of course, on non-regulated rents there is no limit to how much they can be raised in a given year and it is up to landlords to decide.

More than a Quarter of New Yorkers Pay Half Their Income in Rent

Via the NY POST: According to Representative Anthony Weiner, more than a quarter of New Yorkers are paying half their income to their landlords. This number was highest in the Bronx with 33.1% of residents dedicating half their income to housing while 23.7% of Manhattanites paid rents that equalled half their yearly incomes.

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Michelle Erfer is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in New York City.
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